Wednesday, July 2, 2014

News: Region's manufacturing festival making global impression

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The Global Manufacturing Festival (GMF) is fast becoming an international success – with plans already underway to make the 2015 event even bigger.

The GMF has been running since 2011 and has grown in popularity each year with some of the world's biggest manufacturing and engineering companies attending. It was held for the first time at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) last year and returned last week with a trade show and conference, keynote speakers and workshops.

More than 1,500 people attended the two-day festival which included a trade show, conference and dinner, with Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Chuka Umunna MP, Shadow Business Secretary, the keynote speakers.

Other speakers who covered market opportunities included Mike Wright of Jaguar Land Rover, Beth West from HS2, Matthew Chinn from Siemens, Colin Sirett from Airbus, and Bruce Heppenstall at GE Oil & Gas. There were two technical sessions on metal powders and composites, and a session on women in manufacturing.

A number of international delegates visited the Sheffield City Region for the event which offered an opportunity to build connections, open new business opportunities and showcase successful partnerships.

This year's Global Manufacturing Festival, managed by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, coincided with the International Festival for Business (IFB) in Liverpool which is taking place throughout June and July.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber (pictured, centre), said: "This was the biggest festival to date. The calibre of speakers, the high profile delegate list, the varied subject discussions and the wide range of businesses from all around the world made this year's festival a great success. More importantly we know real business was done with many of the exhibitors getting really good enquiries.

"We established a long-term plan when creating the Global Manufacturing Festival in 2012 - to develop an event which would add value to businesses in the complex engineering supply chains and showcase our advanced manufacturing capabilities to the world. We are on course to deliver these objectives, with the festival growing in statue each year.

"However, we are keen for momentum and interest to continue, with more delegates, businesses and speakers attending the festival next year, cementing Sheffield City Region as the central foundation of the world’s advanced manufacturing and materials industry."

Key discussions at the festival focused on automotive, rail infrastructure, offshore wind energy, oil and gas and aerospace.

There were additional events including Meet the Buyer events with Siemens and HS2, and a visit by an All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group on the following day to focus on exports.

Global Manufacturing Festival website

Images: GMF

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